What Do You Do?

So, what do you do when a democratic country goes bad? What happens when they make choices that turn them into a threat to your survival?

Just because your neighbor is a democracy doesn’t mean that you can automatically trust them. For instance, what if your country lived next to a bunch of people who routinely dumped radioactive gas into the air every time the wind was blowing in your direction? Or, maybe your democratic neighbor believed in stealing anything that wasn’t nailed down in YOUR country – and taking it to theirs. Or, maybe this democratic neighbor worshipped war and violent death, and continually did the best that it could to murder as many of your citizens as possible.

What do you do?

Stay with me a moment as I build this ‘what if’ a little further. Let’s say that the people in this neighboring country have truly and fairly elected a government that reflects the will of the people. In a completely fair and open election, the neighboring country has elected a government that threatens your life and wellbeing. Are you going to tell yourself that there is nothing that you can do because the yahoos next door have chosen psychopaths for their government in a free and open election?

What do you do?

Because your crazy neighbor is a democracy, bombing their government is not going to work because it’s not the government that’s the problem. If you remove the current bunch of rulers, the people will go and elect more just like them.

You could send in missionaries with your favorite brand of religion, and try to convert them. You could put them all into ‘reeducation camps’ and try to brainwash them into a way of life that is less threatening. You could infiltrate their schools and broadcast propaganda over the airwaves. But, do you really think that any of that would work?

What do you do?

What if your psychotic neighbor has done a masterful job of presenting themselves as peace-loving, misunderstood aborigines who only want to raise sheep and play the panpipe – even as they quietly steal everything that you have and murder your kids.

What if you are the government of a democratic country with a awful neighbor like this, and what if you tend to get thrown out of office if the people aren’t completely happy with you?

What do you do?